Police searching for group in University of Utah tailgate party attack

Published: Monday, Nov. 11 2013 4:10 p.m. MST

Police continued Monday to search for suspects involved in a tailgate parking lot attack that ended in a skull fracture during Saturday's University of Utah football game.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — Police continued Monday to search for suspects involved in a tailgate parking lot attack during Saturday's University of Utah football game.

The family of Ryan Stone, 21, issued a statement Monday saying they were grateful for the outpouring of support they have received.

"Ryan is currently being treated at (University) Hospital for a skull fracture. His family is asking for privacy while they focus on Ryan's recovery," the statement says.

About 4 p.m. Saturday, Stone was walking through the south tailgate lot near the Steiner Aquatic Center, 645 S. Guardsman Way (1580 East), during the football game between the Utes and Arizona State. Stone told officers that he came in contact with three men and a woman. It's possible the attacker and Stone had been acquainted with each other previously, said University of Utah Police Sgt. Garth Smith.

A verbal argument escalated and one of the men punched Stone, Smith said. Stone was knocked down and his head smacked onto the pavement.

A man in his 50s who was also in the lot reportedly confronted the group and asked why they had punched Stone, Smith said. As of Monday afternoon, police had not located that witness.

"We'd like to find that guy," he said.

Smith said he did not know what started the verbal argument but hoped to find out in subsequent interviews with Stone.

The man who hit Stone was described as a white male in his early- to mid-20s with shoulder-length brown hair and possible large earrings. He was last seen wearing a blue baseball cap, white sunglasses and a gray sweatshirt, Smith said. The other men in the group also had long hair. Witnesses said the woman is about 6 feet tall — taller than any of the the three men — with red hair and she was dressed in black.

Anyone who witnessed the assault is asked to call police at 801-585-2677.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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